Two Useful Apps for House Hunting

by Jiney ChoOctober 17, 2012

First time house hunters looking to either buy a home or rent a home may not know exactly what to expect, or even what to look for. In addition to researching the usual local shops, restaurants, school districts, and crime rates, there is a new trend of looking at cell phone coverage.

It makes sense; no one likes bad reception or having a call dropped. Moving to a home where you later find out you have terrible service is a frustrating feeling. Trust me – it isn’t fun, my fiancé had to sit under a window on one side of the apartment to talk to his clients!

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Sure, he could have switched carriers and changed his plan for a crazy amount of money, but who wants to do that? This situation could have been prevented or avoided completely if he had signal control or prior knowledge. Using a combination of apps can provide better insight and control for house hunters to make knowledgeable decisions in finding the best homes and neighborhoods suitable to their needs. Research should include understanding the value of nearby houses, mortgage rates, AND cell phone coverage. By using the two recommended apps, Homes.com Real Estate Search and OpenSignalMaps, buyers and renters will discover a plethora of information that should help in finding the perfect home.

Homes.com Real Estate Search (free)

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The Homes.com Real Estate Search App offers users a way to find homes for sale, homes for rent, home values, calculate mortgage costs, and access to a relevant agent directory. There are also options in advanced search to customize their house hunt. Additionally, users are able to access recent searches, saved listings, and provide feedback about their experience.

This app is compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and Android. The Homes.com Real Estate Search app not only features plenty of full-screen photos of beautiful homes, but provides resources for users to check their credit, qualify for a loan, and access contact information to find out more about a home.
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The Homes.com Real Estate Search enables you to:

  • Browse Homes for Sale & Homes for Rent: Filter by location, price, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, and more.
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    There are resources available for you to call an agent about a listing, quote, or check your credit.
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  • Contact Local Agents: Talk to a professional to find out more about your favorite listings.
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  • Discover Surrounding Home Values: Get better insight on the values of homes in an area. This comes in handy when bidding on a home.
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  • Calculate Costs using the Mortgage Calculator: Calculate how much you can afford to buy & loan, what monthly payments will look like, whether you should buy or rent, and more.
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Interested? Download the Homes.com Real Estate Search App for Free on iTunes.

Learn  more on our Homes.Com YouTube Channel.

Open Signal Maps (Free)

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Open Signal was founded and designed by a group of Oxford physics graduates with a mission to become the ‘global authority on wireless networks’. It works because the data/information is collected by Android users using the OpenSignalMaps app to voluntarily share information to update and improve maps and data. Currently, the app is available for the Android, but coming soon to the iPhone App Store.

House hunters will be able to research cell and WiFi connections with this app to prepare or make arrangements prior to a purchase or rental.
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Users have the ability to ‘take control of [their] signal’. The OpenSignalMaps app allows users to map the tower they’re connected to, test connection speed, and measure signal strength.
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The information is simple and easy to read for even non-technical users.
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The OpenSignalMaps App allows you to:

  • Find a Signal Tower & Strength: Be informed about which tower you are connected to and the signal strength. Switch towers & test your connection speed to boost and improve your cellular & WiFi connections.
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    If you prefer, you can switch from map to radar view.
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  • Graph Data: Find out detailed statistics about the history and average of your signal strength to a tower to find out where you get the most bars.
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  • Find out Connection Speed: Test connection speeds for different towers to find which one has the fastest download and connection speeds.
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The OpenSignalMaps app is applicable for everyday use. In combination with the Homes.com Real Estate Search app, it provides extra data that may help influence your decisions based on personal priorities and values.

To find out more, please visit the OpenSignal website or watch the OpenSignal YouTube video.

Tablet & Mobile Trends are on the rise, and the real estate industry is making an effort to keep up with those trends. Mobile apps can be extremely useful tools for practically everything, why not use them for house hunting? Making informed decisions in buying the right home are crucial for house hunters. By using the Homes.com Real Estate Search and OpenSignalsMap app, house hunters can make better informed decisions. Both tools are free – There’s nothing to lose, so why not check it out and let us know what you think.

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Jiney Cho

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